What a difference a rain makes!

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Mon Aug 27 09:32:19 EST 2001

>From The Oregonian, Aug. 24, 2001, p C5

Rain lends most Northwest fire crews a hand
Only one Oregon blaze is still considered active as forecasters warn
that this cool, wet week nears its end

By RICHARD COCKLE, Correspondent, The Oregonian
	ENTERPRISE - Rain showers helped crews battling wildfires across
Oregon and Washington on Thursday, but the wet weather by-passed the
Horse Creek fire in Oregon's remote northeastern corner.
	"The weather report was calling for rain, but it looks like it moved
north from us," said a disappointed Angelica Johnson, spokeswoman for
the U.S. Forest Service in Enterprise. "It would have made fire
suppression much easier for all the firefighters."
	Crews still contended Thursday with hot spots on the southeast end of
the 16,854-acre Horse Creek fire, seven miles north of Imnaha, she
said. J.P. Greene, dispatch supervisor for the crews battling the
fire, said Horse Creek was the only active fire in Oregon.
	It was listed as 75 percent contained and fire managers expected full
containment today, said Johnson. Greene said fire managers were in no
hurry to release the 390 firefighters still assigned to the Horse
Creek fire because hotter, drier weather expected this weekend and
next week could bring more wildfires.
	- The precipitation and accompanying higher humidity also helped
crews fighting the 32,348-acre Monument complex, three miles north of
the remote Eastern Oregon town of Monument. The Northwest Interagency
Coordination Center in Portland reported that the fire was 99 percent
contained Thursday.
	- The 2,500-acre Olallie Lake Complex in the Mount Hood National
Forest was 60 percent contained.
	- The 6,170-acre Quartz fire, southwest of Medford, was 90 percent
	Special teams were beginning to rehabilitate fire lines and work to
prevent erosion, according to Marc Hollen, spokesman for the Northwest
Interagency Coordination Center. Meanwhile, some firefighters were
being moved off lines.
	Brian Hargrave, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in
Boise, said some of the Northwest's demobilized firefighters might
eventually be dispatched to California, where large, active fires were
forcing evacuations and road closures.
	On Thursday, 12,347 firefighters were battling wildfires in Oregon
and Washington, said Hollen.
	Rain was also a big help to the firefighters in Washington.
	- The Forest Service reported that 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches of rain fell
on portions of the 47,330-acre Rex Creek Complex near Lake Chelan. So
much rain fell that some roads on the north end became too slippery
for firefighting equipment and helicopters couldn't dump water on hot
spots because of clouds. The fire was 39 percent contained.
	- Crews have been unable to contain any of the 1,250-acre Sleepy
Complex in the Colville National Forest in Washington, although
scattered rain showers helped them make progress building lines.
	- The 6,002-acre Mt. Leona Complex, also in the Colville National
Forest, was only 15 percent contained and still moving east.
	- Mop-up was under way on the 7,582-acre Icicle Complex, near the
tourist town of Leavenworth, Wash. It was 60 percent contained.
	- The 79,723-acre Virginia Lake Complex near Okanagan was only 30
percent contained and 500 soldiers from Ft. Lewis, Wash., were sent
Thursday to help fire crews. Since the rain eased conditions, only
half the soldiers scheduled to be deployed were sent.
	- The 3,790-acre Tonasket Complex was 48 percent contained.
	- The 2,581-acre Spruce Springs Dome Complex, west of Yakima, was 90
percent contained.

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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